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The beautiful Wye Valley village of Trellech (Trelleck), South Wales is located 16 miles west of Ross-on-Wye, and is close to Monmouth, Llandogo and Tintern. The village derives its name from the three standing stones, known as 'Harold's Stones' - 'tre or tri' bing the Welsh for three and 'lech' meaning flat stone. Trellech was once one of the largest towns in Wales, hence its large church.

The village is surrounded by wild flower meadows typical of those of the Lower Wye Valley and is a great place to go looking for wild mushrooms and wildlife,

The film above shows some of the magical / spiritual places in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Beginning with a visit to Arthur's Stone, a Neolithic burial mound in Dorstone, Herefordshire (not far from Hay-on-Wye) it then moves on to Trellech to show Harold's Stones, Tump Turret and the Virtuous Well before moving on again to the Queen Stone, the Staunton Longstone and finally May Hill. I shot the footage for this latest in the 'Wyenot' series of short films over the month of May and the first two days of June 2009.

Two other people appear in the film. Dr Keith Ray MBE, the County Archaeologist talks about Arthur's Stone. Also at Arthur's Stone you may notice a young lady sitting near the stone. I don't know her name. She was a nice young lady from near Peterchurch whom I met whilst filming and have since affectionately named, 'The X-Files Lady' as our conversation was about UFO sightings at sacred places such as Arthur's Stone and Warminster.

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Trellech is a beautiful Wye Valley village surrounded by wild flower meadows.

Information about the village of Trellech can be found on the tree sculpted sundial.

Harold's Stones

Although called Harold's Stones because legend had it the three of Harold's Chieftains died at the location in battle, these standing stones actually date back 3,500 years to the Bronze Age. The three stones are made up of a type of quartz conglomerate rock known as 'Pudding Stone' and were dragged to the site on logs, then levered into position, either for seasonal information or for use at religious ceremonies.

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Harold's Stones, Trellech - pictured individually.

Harold's Stones, Trellech - pictured individually.

Harold's Stones, Trellech - pictured individually.

Harold's Stones, Trellech.

The Virtuous Well - St. Anne's Well

The Virtuous Well was once known as 'St. Ann's Well' and was famous for its cures - particularly those of eye ailments and women's illnesses. The well was a place of pilgrimage up until as late as the 17th Century and visitors to this day hang strips of cloth and ribbons on nearby trees, reflecting a modern belief in the water's healing properties.

The well is said to contain water from four springs, three containing iron and each curing a different illness. Its niches held cups and offerings and there were stone seats for travellers. The name, 'St. Anne's Well' derives from Annis, the Celtic Goddess of rivers, water, wells, magic and wisdom but when Christianized, it become the well of St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary.

It is believed that the water of the Virtuous Well runs under Harold's Stones and that the well was associated with Druidical rites. Celts regarded wells as entrances to the supernatural world, inhabited by gods or guardian spirits. Folklore says that fairies dance around the well on Midsummer's Eve, and drink its water from harebell cups the following morning.

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The Virtuous Well, Trellech.

Tump Turret

Tump Turret is a 40 foot mound which dates back to Norman times and is known to be the remains of a motte and bailey castle which belonged to the De Clare family. The first reference to a castle in Trellech was in 1231. The motte, or mound still remains but the bailey is now under the modern village.

The mound may date back to pre Roman times and according to legend it is the burial ground of King Harold's men, who were slain in battle at Trellech, as well as being the burial place of plague victims. It is said that a dreadful curse will befall anybody disturbing the mound but this did not stop the Rumsey family building a summer house on top during the 19th Century.

Tump Turret dates back to Norman times and was also possibly the site of a castle, erected during the reign of Henry 1.

Tump Turret.

Other Wye Valley and Forest of Dean standing stones within a short drive of Ross-on-Wye include:
The Queen Stone
* The Staunton Longstone * Arthur's Stone


Photography, video and web design copyright © Alan J. Wood, All rights reserved.